tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 8, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
what's really important is establish aing on the radio, letting everybody know where you are and coordinating where you are so that the other pilot knows what you're doing and how you're going to enter that air space. so it's important for, for instance, the helicopter pilot to be able to clear a space before they come up and enter. certainly if they're both traveling in the same direction, the faster aircraft should be avoiding the slower aircraft. >> so when you first heard of this accident earlier today, knowing that have you traveled this route, this very busy air space before, what was your initial reaction? >> well, i can't say that i was too surprised. it's tragic, it's a terrible situation. but the other part of what i do is not only a pilot but i'm a lawyer and we specialize in aviation litigation and this is exactly the type of things that we deal with.
so not only do actively fly and i'm aware of what's goes on on the hudson corridor and elsewhere, but i also look at it from a point of view of safety and is this a potential risk? what do you need to do to conduct this safely? this is definite ly an area tha requires everybody to know what they're doing and be on top of their game because there's no room for mistakes. >> you know, mayor bloomberg reiterated that this is the second accident to happen in such a short span on the hudson river, although this one had a tragic ending. he called this being the largest accident resulting in death in modern day and i'm also referring to that flight 587, that miracle on the hudson where everybody walked away unharmed, was able to land on that hudson river. this really is a strange set of events to be taking place in such close proximity of the crash site. >> yeah.
i mean a lot of these things can be lumped in as coincidence, could you probably throw in the corey lidle accident that happened on the other side of the east river. but when you start dissecting it from a safety point of view, you realize these are very different circumstances and a mid-air collision, you know, did happen here. it can happen in a lot of different places, but it's very different from what happened to u.s. air flight. >> i realize you're an experienced pilot, you're familiar with flying in this congested travel space, but does this accident make you more wary the next time you're piloting an aircraft in this area? >> sure. i think any pilot needs to take away, if nothing else, from any other accident they learn about, you know, let me learn as much as i can about what went wrong so that it doesn't happen to me
or anybody else and the goal has to be to make things safer, but it can be done safely. and we just have to learn a little bit more about exactly what happened here and we'll learn some lessons on how to make sure this doesn't happen again. >> pilot daniel rose, also aviation lawyer, thanks so much for your time. appreciate that again, the investigation phase now into high gear there after a mid-air collision between a tourist helicopter and a small aircraft. in all, nine people died. two bodies have been recovered. now the recovery mission of the other seven bodies continues to take place in there in the hudson river. much more straight ahead right after this.
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all right. welcome back. we continue do watch now the investigative phase of a mid-air collision taking place over the hudson river between hoboken, new jersey and lower manhattan. an aircraft, a small aircraft with three people on board, including a child, which had recently taken off from the teterboro, new jersey, airport. according to the mayor of new york, he says eyewitnesss say that aircraft may have crashed into the rear end of a helicopter, a tourist helicopter with five italian tourists on board. as well as the pilot. all nine have died. the recovery of two bodies have taken place, now recovery phase continues there in the hudson
river. they try to figure out exactly what took place over what is typically a very busy and congested air space. susan candiotti is joining us now by way of broadband. you had a chance to hear the may mayor, he said this is a very tragic event, very sad and the city is trying to offer as many comforts as they can to the visitors from italy whose family members died in this collision. >> that's right. they're getting counseling as we speak t is a tragedy and in fact as mayor bloomberg said, this did not appear to be a survi survivable accident at off. i their he said that was pretty clear from the start, that it wasn't so much a rescue operation as a recovery operation. although that official designation came a few hours into what's happening out on the river behind me. let's take a look over there to she you exactly what is happening now. well, it is a beautiful day outside here, below the water, the conditions are not so good.
you've got several boats out there and four teams of divers who are working under terrible conditions. they said that below water you can only see in front of you about two feet. the depth of the water here in the hudson river, 30 feet. again those divers plan to be working around the clock to see what they can find at this point it looks like there is some wreckage, they think might belong to the helicopter at this point. they're not sure, but they don't think that they have found the plane's wreckage as yet. it's a difficult operation. again, as we said because of how murky the water is. we asked a little bit more about those bodies that have been recovered, only two bodies have been recovered so far. one, mayor bloomberg said, was floating on the water, the other below the water, this is going to be a very long and difficult operation as the day and obviously the evening goes on. fredericka, we're also learning
some additional information from the mayor about what happened in the moments before the accident occurred. information also coming from police commissioner ray kelly. as we understand it, the sight seeing helicopter took off just before noon perpendicular over the helicopter from the he willy pad. they frequently take off across the hudson and take people around for a tour of manhattan as well as the statue of liberty. about that same time, this small plane took off from teterboro airport. appeared to be coming down from the northwest when some witnesses, this is only preliminary information, said that it appeared as though the plane went into the back of the helicopter. now, according to police commissioner ray kelly, they also had information from an off-duty new york city police pilot who was taking off at the same time in the air, working for the very same sightseeing company. and he saw what happened. apparently did not have time to
call for help. and before you knew it, the m mid-air collision had occurred. fredericka? >> tragic set of events. thanks so much susan candiotti, appreciate that. there were lots of eyewitnesss to what took place just after noontime today over the hudson river. this is some of what they saw. >> what we can tell is that the plane left from teterboro, the helicopter had just taken off from west 30th street. there were a number of eyewitnesss who saw the crash. it would appear that the airplane ran into the back side of the helicopter. but keep in mind with all of these things, number one until national transportation safety board are makes the determination, nothing is a fact. >> again, you're looking at live pictures right now of the hudson river.
earlier, we talked to a number of people who either said they saw the collision or heard it. but certainly saw the debris, then plunging into the hudson river. >> only thing i saws were a block helicopter went down. we were all watching it, it was like in a movie. it was turning and then the -- the head went down first. then about three or four seconds later, i thought it was a wing of the helicopter, but there's no wing for helicopters. probably the rotor blade. so if this is the head, i think it went down like this. so it was quick, yeah. >> did you see -- >> what did you do next offer saw this? >> we all -- three of our girl, with called 911, i think it was probably busy so it said leave a message. so that was a little bit funny, but very soon in about a minute.
i just see like all the other helicopters and then people coming for the rescue. so it was very cute. >> did you see a plane? did you see a plane? >> no, i did not see a plane. i didn't know there was a crash. there was probably a malfunction. >> did you see them pulling people out of the water? >> i see a lot of people come and try to rescue, lots of boats start to drive towards the helicopter. >> did you see people in the water? were there people swimming that needed rescued? >> die not see that. i did not see any struggle or anything, but people come and try to help. >> where were you? >> chelsea pier. >> where were you exactly when you saw it? >> i was on level d or c. >> of where? >> chelsea pier golf club. >> tell me more about the rescue effort, what did you see, were you both heading to the scene, tell me what you saw? >> i saw a lot of helicopters driven and boats driving towards a the scene and trying to help.
>> how high in the sayer the helicopter when it went straight down? >> i don't think i saw the whole thing. when i saw it, it took about, i saw about six seconds of it. >> yeah and it was straight nose down. >> i think it was nose down, yeah. >> was it turning? >> yeah, i think it was turning, yeah. >> your reaction when you saw it, you obviously have never seen anything like this. >> i was shocked. i was screaming for a few seconds, then two of us, we started calling 911. so probably a lot of people saw it, that's why the line was busy. so then we saw the rescue boat, helicopter, just went after like a minute. it was that quick. >> but no one swimming. >> i did not see it. >> any planes. >> i did not see any planes. i saw some smoke afterward. i didn't see any planes. >> over in this area, by this park over here, halfway out, basically where that barge boat out over there, there was a
small plane like a cessna cutting back towards the new jersey side and a helicopter heading southbound about 1,1 hundred, 1,200 feet, there was a poof of smoke and a bang. and plane went further down why the w hotel and the plane came down in a couple of pietz. pretty bad. >> what did you think when you saw it? >> trach yik, bad. the fact that it happened here. you look up and you see all the planes going around here, it's pretty hectic. i'm surprised, unfortunately this thing harngs but you know, the fact that it does happen, it doesn't happen more often is just kind of crazy. i've seen them initially they had been concentrating on the airplane wreckage over here. the helicopter went straight down, initial nobody went over there. i think that's what they're doing over here with the barring. people were talking about two
airplanes or one airplane going down, but unfortunately everybody was concentrating opt debris over here. i didn't know what the status of these other people is. >> tragedy over the hudson river, just after noontime today, mid-air collision between a helicopter and a small plane, the end result, nine people have died in that mid-air collision. two bodies have been recovered. you heard the account from so many eyewitness on this beautiful day, so many people were out and about. and either hurt or smaw the collision taking place and rescue mission that kicked into high gear immediately but mayor michael bloomberg of new york, just a about an hour ago said this is no longer a rescue mission but instead of a recovery mission. visibility is very poor in the hudson river there at its depths of 30 feet or so. visibility of two feet in the water. still, they continue to look for the wreckage and try to recover the other seven bodies. josh levs also here, joining me. we've heard from eyewitness
accounts in so many different ways. pretty extraordinary moment to moment accounts of what transpired today. >> i'm about to give you another one, fred. we've been getting so much information from people via the web. twit, facebook and i-reports coming in like crazy. we're seeing a of these images of the police boats. everyone out there is telling us that the police response, the authority response to this was immediate. the people moved very, very quickly. and there was really a lot of training they could see had been done because boom, people were out there. take a look, i'm going move through other pictures we've got here. i want you to see this post. he writes i was playing soccer in sinatra park when the crash happened overhead. many thought it was a bomb. the helicopter would fall on land and people were yelling at others to get out of the way. the helicopter was split in two. i want people to understand
where we're talking act. this is where he was, at the sinatra park right here. we've been hearing from a lot of people on that side, fred, sending us picture, video, sending us stories. we definitely want to hear from you. let me show you how you can get in touch with us. you've got my twitter page. twitter.com/joshlevsc twitter.com/joshlevscnn. you can see my facebook. i tell you, we are getting so many of these picture, especially the i-report. it has really helped us tell the story. if you go to cnn.com right now, look at our latest detashlgs the big picture, the main page is an i-report that puts us on the scene and tells us what's going down. >> some of our first images have come by way of viewers or i-reporters, people who were there, saw it as it happen and conveyed it to us right away. >> authorities later on will match what we are already hearing from our eyewitness
accounts. these people have been very quick and accurate with description of what they have been seeing. so far matched exactly what authorities say happened. >> let's check in with jacqui jeras because we are talking about, still an active scene in the hudson recover, a recovery mission. it's still a beautiful day, but we're talking about the hudson river, depths of 30 feet, visibility very poor and still need to locate other bodies as well as the wreckage. you're talking about pretty warm waters. and currents. >> yeah, well the current is kind of swift. the water temperature about 76 degrees, so that's actually pretty warm. so that's not too bad in terms of the conditions. we're going to zoom in here. kind of give you a better idea, want to start out wide for those of you who don't know the new york city and new jersey area very well. so here you can see this is manhattan island. this is new jersey over here. this is the hoboken area we're talking about. this is the holland tunnel right
here to put it in perspective, this is just north of that area. looking on the internet, obviously great resource to try to find more information. i saw some video on there that don lemon had pulled up that shows how murky those waters are. we're trying to get permission to use that video for you. so watch for that in the upcoming hours. but it just shows you how murky the water is. you can't see very far in front of you. not to mention, the river bottoms are made of silt. so if you take your hand went like this on the river bottom, all this dust and all of this silt would just kind of poof on up and make visibility even worse. you've got extra traffic in that river, all the debris which has gone in there as well, not to mention the current. that's shaken things up as well, that's going to take a while to settle. so maybe visibility can get better in the hours to come but certainly not ideal at this time. so let's go ahead and zoom in more and show you the area that we're talking about. 14th street, over here.
on manhattan in new york. some of that wreckage was found on the other side of the river over here in the new jersey side. so this is one of the areas that they're searching. so still some very dangerous conditions. now weatherwise, it couldn't be better. at the time of the crash, we did have a little bit of scattered cloudiness but nothing to limit visibility. visibility was ten miles so that's as good as it gets. we talk about those vfr rules or visual flight rules in play, you've got to have great clear conditions and be able to see that ten-plus miles in order to not have to talk to the controllers if you're one of those pilots. so conditions were really, really good. temperatures were in the 70s at the time. we're pushing into the 80s as we speak. skies are clear. so weatherwise, in terms of also helping with the recovery effort looks great as well. tomorrow looks fine, too. maybe thunderstorms coming in late tomorrow. >> jacqui jeras, appreciate that. we continue to watch the developments there over the
hudson river, now a recovery mission, trying to find the wreckage and seven other bodies. in all, nine people tie dprooid this mid-air collision between a tourist helicopter, five italians and a pilot on board. as well as a small aircraft with three people on board including a child. we understand that the helicopter had taken off from a midtown area, the heliport of that business, liberty are tours and just shortly after takeoff, this small aircraft which had taken off from the teterboro airport in new jersey according to the mayor eyewitness accounts say that small aircraft careened into the rear of that helicopter and it simply spiralled down. this was an accident, according to the mayor, that was simply not survivable. we'll have much more straight ahead in the "newsroom" right after this.
its entirety. >> i'm sad to report that about 12:00 this afternoon, there was an accident which we do not believe was survivable between an airplane and a helicopter. the helicopter was a sightseeing helicopter, an a-3 star 50 made by euro cop terse an we think the airplane was a piper saratoga. the airplane we think took off from teterboro and had on board a pilot and two agos, one a child, we do not have the names and/or ages or where they come from. and on the helicopter, there were five italian tourists and a pilot. we have at this point found two bodies. we're not sure where one of them came from, the other one we're reasonably sure came from the helicopter. we found some wreckage, we believe that it is the
helicopter but were the vis siblts about two feet, the depth of 30 feet on the jersey side of the river opposite roughly 14th street where the wreckage was located. we've not found the second piece of wreck a we're assuming we have the helicopter, but i cannot for sure say that in which case we're for the airplane or vice versa. with me today is our police commissioner ray kelly. calvin draten, first deputy commissioner of the office of emergency management, joe esposito of the nypd, ronny spadafora, assistant chief of the fdny, scott stringer, our borough president has joined u.s. and we also have representatives from the national transportation safety board which will do the complete investigation. we've also have the coast guard on board an we have representatives from the port authority, the harbor police,
the new york state police over on theiersy side, we've been work with the jersey state police and local police forces there. what we can tell is that the plane left from teterboro, the helicopter had just taken off from west 30th street. there were a number of eyewitnesss who saw the crash. it would appear that the airplane ran into the back side of the helicopter, but keep in mind with all of these things, number one, until national transportation safety board makes the determination, nothing is a fact. and it can take them many weeks or even years to determine what goes on. this probably won't be that big an investigation. but they will do a complete investigation before they announce their conclusions as to what happened and whether there are any steps that should be taken to improve safety and to prevent similar tragedies such as this.
the police department has sent some of their community affairs unit and the mayors' office community affairs, both are with the families of the italian tourists who had taken off from 30th street and are providing counseling, i'm gathered they don't speak english so we have some italian speakers there and professionals who sadly all too often have to deal with tragedy and help the families get through this difficult period. i might point out as you would expect the red cross is here providing the kind of assistance that we need, both the fire department and the pd have boats an divers and everything is being done, but i think it's fair to say that this has changed from a rescue to a recovery mission. and that probably was what we could have started out with the instant it happened. there is some evidence from eye witnesses that one of the wings
of the airplane was severed or separated, probably severed by the rotors of the helicopter, but we won't know as i said until the ntsb does their investigation. we will over the next hours remove the bodies from whether it's the helicopter or the airplane that we found, but at this point are paramount focus is on making sure that our divers are safe. we don't want them to make this tragedy any worse than it's already been and we will continue looking for the other aircraft whichever one it is. there's not a lot else to say. i believed happy to take some question, but nobody really knows any more than what i've just said and so if you want to ask about more, you're going to get the answer, that same answer. sir? >> mr. mayor, can you describe the air space and how aircraft indeed have to navigate? >> there is a corridor here where aircraft can fly uncontrolled by air traffic
control. there is a common frequency used on the hudson river. there's a separate one for the east river. pilots that fly in this area all the time pretty much always use those frequencies to announce where they are and to listen to find out where other people are. and when they're going by 34th street, even on the east side or 30th street on the west side or wall street, the other place helicopters can land, helicopter pilots pretty much always describe where they are, what altitude and which direction they're going tone sure separation. that's probably not anywhere near as true with airplanes that fly through the area, not very frequently. there's no requirement that they do that, although common sense says and the maps do show what those frequencies are. >> mr. mayor,there any indication that the plane was flying too low or why it would be flying so low? >> we simply don't know what altitude, the corridor is
probably 1,000 feet or below. obviously for example, helicopters can go you all the way right done to the water because they have to land on the pier. so there's a maximum altitude restriction. and a minimum tends to be just staying away from the sides of buildings, but nobody really focuses on that the reason for the maximum altitude is you want to make sure that these airplanes stay away from commercial aircraft which fly higher than that and would never be cleared lower than that. typically a commercial airplane going into laguardia up the river would be cleared to go at 5,000 feet, 1,000 feet being the maximum for these. yes, miss? >> can you describe in a little bit more detail about how the bodies recovered, bodies haven't been recovered? >> i cannot do that. one was we believe floating free and they found the other one, the divers have recovered, but as you might imagine, the difrs are more worried about doing their job and making sure that each other is safe rather than
giving us a blow by blow. there are some bodies in the wreckage that we found in the aircraft, whether that's an airplane or a helicopter. we believe it's the helicopter, but we're not 100% sure, they're study now how to get them out safely and eventually the wreckage will be picked up. first thing we're tieing to do is get the bodies out obviously with the sensibilities of the families. and our prayers have to go out to them. it's a tragedy and other than flight 587, this is as far as i note largest accident resulting in death in the new york area in modern day. yes, miss? >> [ inaudible question ]. >> there's no indication that anybody had any problems whatsoever. one of the pilots on the sitting -- on the deck at west 30r7b8g street, grabbed his
microphone and tried to tell the pilot of the helicopter that got hit. whether the pilot heard that, whether he was on the right frequency it could have just been an optical illusion that it was close, too. and in this case, turned out it was not an optical illusion t is a crowded busy area and generally pilots that fly in this area are well train and certainly have plenty of practice flying in that. when the roads are crowded and going fast, you really want to pay attention and pilot here typically do. what exactly happened, i'm not going to speculate and until the ntsb issues their report, you're not going to know. >> how deep is it -- >> it's all underwater, they can see two or three feet maximum. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> we have no idea where-both went down exact ly or where the current might have taken them. we have found one piece of
wreckage, whether they looked tw or three feet in either direction from that, i dent noechblt this is a dangerous area when the currents are running. it's 30 feet under the water and the visibility is terrible and their first instructions are do not compound this tragedy, recovery is certainly not worth jeopardizing people's lives. rescue maybe, but not recovery. siry. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> the helicopter had taken off from west 30r7b8g street heliport, went directly perpendicular out over the river which is their practice to make sure they see any traffic going north or south on the river. that's confirmed by the other pilot that was sitting on the heliport on 30th street. he says the plane was coming from a little bit from the northwest, which would be from the teterboro airport area where we do know that this plane had taken off from. so that's consistent. whether that plane was in the process of banking and turning
south to go down towards the statue of liberty, we just don't know. they would not be loud and probably would have known from the maps they could not go over manhattan, but there is this corridor down over the river. so, yes. >> one more question. >> the plane going south and helicopter is going north? >> the helicopter had already tu turned going south when the plane came, but it first came out, turned south, it was climbing and probably between 500 and 1,000 feet. they'll try to establish that later on. we'll take the last question or two. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> normally, there's no requirement that they communicate at all. and it is positively controlled air space. there is a common frequency which you can voluntarily use to announce where you are, where you're going, listen to other pilots doing the same thing. as far as we know, helicopter pilots almost always do this and we assume the pilot did that, if
he time to do it, but he may have taken off and not bothered yet until he got established. we don't know that the airplane was listening on that frequency or said anything. we'll take the last question. >> mr. mayor, how challenging do you know this air space to be to fly? and what would you say if there were calls after the east side incident for more restrictions over the hudson river? >> that's up to the faa to determine. it may be one of those things that no amount of restricting other than preventing aircraft from coming into the area could have prevented. that's not something anybody wants either. the city has interests, commercial interests ma n making sure we're accessible and transportation can come and go. we have a number of airports close by, there's caldwell, newark, teterboro, on the other side of the river, you've got laguardia and kennedy and a little further out, republic, just to the north. there's westchester t is a busy area as any big city would be.
and there's traffic coming in and out all the time. for commercial are aircraft, there is an awful lot of positive control, lie say my experience with the faa controllers in this area is they're the most professional i've ever had the privilege of working with. they handle an enormous amount of traffic and really do know their stuff, but there are areas that are not positive controlled. the faa can't control every place and this could have happened over a cornfield as well as over the east river. i think it's really any place you see a lot of traffic together that's no, sir positively controlled you have to be careful. that's not for me to prejudge whether anybody did anything right or wrong. the only definitive answers to your questions will come from the national transportation safety board. that's why air transportation is so safe because they don't jump to conclusions. they very carefully work to establish with a lot of investigation what exactly went on and they will do every kind of test and every kind of
analysis you can conceive of, when they're ready to issue their report, they will. let me just finish by saying it is a great tragedy. all the people of new york and new york region have their prayers with the families and the deceased. i think you saw an astellar e m example of the two agencies but also port authority of new jersey, new york, new york state, volunteer organizations all working together, sadly there's not a lot of rescue to do here. it's all recovery from this point on. and later on, we'll make sure that the press is informed of when their bodies are recovered, when we're able to release identification or tell you when the aircraft, both aircraft wreckage will be recovered from the river. but i think any speculation
after this is just not based on any fact and i would urge you to wait until the professionals do what they're supposed to do. if you look at other cases, the first reports tend not to be terribly accurate and you saw that in a number of big commercial airplane crashes recently. i don't want that to happen here. we're doing everything we can. we responded, i think, in exactly the ways our planning in the office of emergency management pulling everybody together and all of the training that the police department, fire department, and other agencies do together. they responded to quickly. it was possible, if anybody had survived, we would have been there. sadly, it appears to us at this point that this was probably not survivable from virtually the instant the accident or certainly a few seconds later when both aircraft went into the water. so i'm sorry to have to report to the public another tragedy.
this is not going to have a happy ending like when the airbus went down in the river where everybody survived. in this case, we believe that nobody has. thank you very much. >> that was new york mayor michael bloomberg, roughly an hour and a half ago during a press conference there. nine people on board two aircraft that collided shortly after taking off at separate locations, but as you heard from the mayor there, this was an accident, in his words, that simply was not surviveable. we've got your i-reports coming up next.
welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield in atlanta. now the recovery phase after a mid-air collision over the hudson river. you're looking at the recovery mission under way on both those screens there. a helicopter as well as a small plane, nine people in all, on board those two aircraft collided just roughly after noontime and just about an hour or so ago, the mayor of new york, michael bloomberg came out to say this simply not a survivable crash. they have recovered two bodies but the recovery mission is still under way to locate the other seven bodies. they have located the wreckage
of one of the aircraft, presumably the helicopter, they continue to search for the wreckage of that small airplane. this is what an eyewitness said he saw shortly after noontime earlier today. >> over in this area by this park over here. halfway out, basically where that barge boat out s out over there, a small plane like a cessna cutting back toward the new jersey side, the helicopter heading southbound about 1100, 1200 feet, the plane rolled into the helicopter, hit the side of it, the helicopter went straight down in the water, there was a poof of smoke and like a bang. and the plane went further down hit the water by the w hotel, came out in couple of pieces. so pretty bad. >> what was your thought when you saw it? >> tragic, bad. you know, just the fact that the it happened here. you look up and you see all the planes going around here, it's kind of hectic, so you know, i'm surprised that unfortunately,
this thing happens, but you k w know, the fact that it does happen, it doesn't happen more often it just kind of crazy. >> how did you happen to be watching it? >> i'm waiting for my girlfriend to get her haircut, just sitting in the park down there on one of those bench, just happened to be sitting there. >> just gazing out. >> pretty much. >> did they seem like they were close? were you worried about them? >> that's away i looked up in that direction. obviously you see planes and helicopters getting close to each out here but in their that particular moment i looked up and thought they look really close. and i thought the perspective, they might have been go right underneath each other. but when they hit, there was a big cloud of white smoke that came out and there was definitely a collision. >> what have you seen since then? have they pulled any people out? >> i don't know. initially, they had been concentrating on the airplane wreckage over here, the helicopter went straight down
and initially nobody went over, there i think that's what they're doing over here right now with the barge, but initially people were talking about one airplane or two airplanes going down, but unfortunately everybody is concentrating on the debris over here. i don't know what the status of these other people over here is. >> what were the colors. >> the plane i believe was white and red and the helicopter was i think white and blue. >> that was an eyewitness account of colin rich, we're hearing from people in so many different ways about what they saw starting just after noontime and throughout the day right now. it's now recovery mission taking place on the hudson river as these two aircraft collided just an noontime, nine people are fwlervd have died in this crash. two bodies have already been recovered. accord, to the new york mayor. and the choppers you are seeing in the video, these are rescue choppers. these are not images of the chopper involved prior to the collision. josh levs has been listening to a lot of eyewitness accounts as
well. especially the gentleman who says he actually saw a tire that he believes might have been an aircraft tire just simply fall from the sky. >> we have more and more reason to believe that's what it it is. it's one of the many stories we're getting here. ever since this news broke, we've been following this in every possible way, especially i-report are.com. just zoom in for a second. we have a breaking news set up if you're in that area. we're getting so many. people sending us pictures of what it's like in that area. police boats out there. people are saying, you know what? they saw the police boats respond incredibly quickly. i also spotted this, a website called mashable.com which traces what's going on. this is indeed this man's story. you're drivingal the street. you hear a crashing sound and right in front of your car lands this huge chunk of tire. well, that's what happened to this guy who tweeted about it, we spoke with him earlier, here's that interview.
>> i was driving out of the we hawken, new jersey, into hoboken. turned onto sinatra drive which runs parallel to the hudson. >> i pulled up a picture of that. so people can knowy you were. you've got the hudson right here. just where the a is sinatra drive. so geographically you would have been right near there. what happened? >> i thought i may have hit something on my car. next thing my know my girlfriend and i saw debris falling out of the sky and a big splash in the hudson. about i would say maybe 20 feet in front of me, maybe closer or farther, the tire fell on the roadway in front of our car. >> i can't tell from the picture, am i seeing the rubber casing or is that actual tire material in there. is it just the exterior your or solid what fell? it. >> looks like it was just the exterior your, i didn't see the rim or anything inside of it. >> so this fell right in front of you.
could have hit your car? >> it could have, yeah. >> it must have had some velocity coming from the sky. as i understand, looking at your twitter page, you have since looked at what you believe there were are three other tires still attached to that plane. so you have extra reason to believe this was from the crash. >> yeah, that airplane has the same tire i saw the wing spiraling down and maybe the wing hit something and shot it my way. >> goodness. we've also begetting eye-report photo. you're in the area, what are you seeing? what's it like. what did you d it sound like when you were are there. >> we saw jersey city cops. wehawken, hoboken. they have since shut down that main ready. i actually ended up leaving and it was just a lot of people looking very scared, looking at the sky and running. and i don't think anybody really
knew what happened. there was one cop that was next to me and i think he was probably one of the first to call it. he didn't really see it either. not too many people saw it i didn't see the plane just the wing and the tire. >> but you heard a sound so you knew to look into that area. >> i want to emphasize the tire is not from the helicopter at all, it's from the plane. >> it appears it would be to the plane, to the little plane that wrecked, yeah. >> i just want to emphasize that. the images you were able to see were from the plane, that's why you felt indeed it was from there. so you're in this area. has anything like this happened to you before? have you ever seen anything like this? >> no, i'm grateful i never have seen anything like this before. hopefully, they do find more survivors. >> of course. a lot of people must be concerned in they're ya. what is like being a resident of that area, are people largely hunkering down, staying home, gathering somewhere, what's happening in the community there? >> yeah, a lot of people are i live right on the water, will
the of people have kind of came out of their apartments and looked. the vood closed so nobody going back there to see anything. and this is kind of in line with where the hudson crash happened. so everybody is still on ice over that this is very unfortunate this happened again. >> since then, we're got ten i-reports, photos showing us where police cordoned off the area investigating this crash. so more of a suggestion even now that it could indeed be laying. coming up in just a couple of minutes, we're going to to you can that with man who said he was playing sock, heard the crash, everyone thought it was a bomb. he describes what happened from there. we're going to talk to him coming right up. welcome to the now network. right now
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so we're following this news of a crash between a helicopter and a small plane over the hudson. joining us now is a an eyewitness. you heard this sound and many thought it was a bomb. >> that's correct. >> what happened? >> well, we had just been finished playing soccer, we were hangs out on the field when we heard this just incredibly large crashing noise. i've never heard anything like that loud in my life ever. i flinched, i looked up and the helicopter had broken in two and the plane was going down into the water. everyone's initial reaction was just terror because the
helicopter came down close to the new jersey side and a few people thought it would actually hit pedestrians on the side of the river. >> keith, i can show everyone where you were. i pulled up a map. you were at sinatra park in hoboken. >> that's correct. >> over here, you've got the hudson and frank sinatra park. that's where you were playing soccer. keith, i've got to ask you, you look up, you see an aircraft splitting in two. what did that look like? what did you physically see at that distance? >> well it happened extremely quickly. like a lot of people have mentioned, but there was just a ton of debris in the air. the tail a section was completely separated from the cockpit or the front of the helicopter. the front just took a nose dive from there from what i saw, went straight into the water. the plane kind of, it barked into the water further into the center of the river. >> such a tragedy for all these people. we're all thinking of them it.
>> is. >> before i let you go here, was there pend moan yum on the ground. did people come together and scream or come together and say this is what we're going to do? what happened with people enjoying the park? >> there were a few people scream i screaming and having trouble with it. for the most part, a lot of people, their immediate reaction was to call 911, which was great. >> other than that, you saw most ly order and people doing the right thing? >> yes, everyone did the right thing. they gave out the emergency services all the room they needed. it was pretty calm on the ground. >> keith, i'm sorry, thank you so much for joining us today. one of the many people, fred, we've been hearing from via twitter and facebook. joshlevsc joshlevscnn, just write us, so many ei-reports coming in as well. i'll be planted right here showing everyone what we get. >> it is incredible hearing from people who saw what happened. it was a clear, beautiful day, just after noontime earlier today in lower manhattan.
right near hoboken, new jersey, people were able to see with their very own eyes, this small aircraft we three people on board and a tourist helicopter with six people on board including the pilot and five tourists from italy. it simply collided anka re ed a right into the hudson river. whun minutes, search and rescue sprung into action. but we heard from the mayor moments ago, all nine presumed dead. this was simply an accident that was not survivable. don lemon is up next to continue our coverage. vehicle and you could der qualify for an additional $3500 or $4500 cash back on a new, more fuel-efficient chevy. your chevy dealer has more eligible models to choose from. more than ford, toyota, or honda. now get an '09 cobalt for under fifteen-five after all offers. and get it for even less if you qualify for cash for clunkers program. go to chevy.com for details.